Is it all happening to, simply, create media energy and keep the brand top of mind?
Is it all happening because Twitter is changing into something not recognizable in the grand scheme of social media platforms?
If we look at the three main challenges/opportunity, it’s easy to argue both sides:
1. What is value of the blue checkmark, and will users convert to the Twitter Blue paid platform?
The negative: Since Elon Musk took over Twitter, he has been dismantling the platform’s core strengths by fiddling with the blue checkmark. This includes driving out expertise, scaring away celebrities/creators, and rewarding bad actors willing to pay for the blue checkmark. This has led to the platform losing its value as an information network and becoming a much worse echo chamber.
The positive: Since Elon Musk took over Twitter, he is dismantling the blue checkmark as a symbol of “status” and moving users to a place of “verification.” When someone pays, Twitter has this individual’s real credentials (including credit card information), so while some users think they are paying to have “status,” they will, eventually, realize that they are “verified” as the concept of “status” disappears. This could be a path forward for new revenue streams (that aren’t ad-driven) to ensure the platform’s long-term sustainability, rather than a deliberate attempt to dismantle the current hierarchy between users.
2. Is paying for social media the future? How will creators be compensated?
The negative: Twitter used to be a free platform where users could engage in meaningful conversations and gain access to valuable information and individuals. However, under this new ownership, Twitter Blue grants increased visibility and verification to paying users, which reduces the free access to quality information. If everyone can’t have the same access to information, this could further erode a company, community and an individual’s ability to communicate information to the masses/their followers.
The positive: Twitter, like other social media platforms (Meta and Snap are also moving towards paid models), needs to adapt and evolve to stay relevant in the competitive digital landscape. The introduction of a subscription model could be a step in that direction. If consumers are willing to pay for Spotify and Netflix, maybe paying for social media is a logical step (see: OnlyFans) as a way for Creators to truly monetize the content that they are creating/sharing.
3. Is Twitter moving towards a better user experience?
The negative: With the introduction of Twitter Blue and changes in verification, genuine users are finding it increasingly difficult to access quality information, leading to a decline in the user experience and making the platform less relevant. There seems to be a sentiment that more polarizing (and wrong) information is now being shared on the platform.
The positive: By paying for access to Twitter, we might see better (and quicker) changes to an improved user experience. What might make it better? Just look at the current “For you” and “Following” tabs as an example. Plus, if users all pay, shouldn’t this reduce spam, misinformation, and other undesirable content on the platform, if we know who the bad actors are?
My bigger point?
In order for us to see the future, we have to be able to imagine both sides of the equation.
While our instincts to be positive (or negative) take root, there is (usually) other options in terms of what is going on.
Ask yourself these questions… often:
- Is this change positive? If so, why?
- Is this change negative? If so, why?
For every person leaving Twitter, there might be someone joining it.
What is Tech Tuesday?
Every Tuesday – for just a few minutes – I join Heather Backman (my old buddy from her days on CHOM FM and Jack 103) on the air at 95.9 Star FM to give a quick blast about the current state of technology, media and Internet culture.
We call it Tech Tuesday (and we do it in just a few minutes).
Once the segment goes live on 95.9 Star FM, I will post it here for you to listen in, learn, share and engage.
Before you go… ThinkersOne is a new way for organizations to buy bite-sized and personalized thought leadership video content (live and recorded) from the best Thinkers in the world. If you’re looking to add excitement and big smarts to your meetings, corporate events, company off-sites, “lunch & learns” and beyond, check it out.